OLD SMITH-O-LENE AVIATION GASOLINE PORCELAIN GAS STATION PUMP SIGN SNOOPY – $58. Find it on eBay (affiliate link).
I saw this Snoopy Smith-O-Lene Sign and wondered… is it fake? I saw another listing immediately and realized it probably was. Suddenly, there were four for sale. A few more clicks revealed the 42 that had sold over the last three months. There it was, the new meaning of my life, universe and everything. To get to the bottom of this and warn the world!
Let’s start with the history. Worthpoint is my go-to for diving deep into the past at eBay. A search of Snoopy Smith-o-lene reveals 65 listings starting April 2, 2020. A broader search for just Smith-o-lene signs goes all the way back to the beginning of eBay. What’s going on here? This isn’t just one seller, yet a lot of them have the same title. Some of them say they bought them from an “old timer” or estate sale and are just getting around to selling them now. All these random people just happen to now say “Let’s all sell our Snoopy signs!” Not one Old Timer used a new fangled computer to sell his Snoopy sign on eBay before April 2020? Did just one old timer own all these signs and people from North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and West Virginia all go to that same sale in March during a pandemic lockdown? Not believing it one bit.
Let’s take a look at condition. We’re lead to believe this particular sign was at a gas station long enough for the sign to rust at the screw holes. Let’s pretend that’s one year. In all that time, no kid has gotten out and hit that big bullseye in the middle? No one’s brush something against the sign creating an unsightly mark across the main image, or any where for that matter. Everyone has been so respectful of all 65 of these signs as to not mar them enough to really bring down their value? No one in all this time has hung one of these up on their barn watching it fade and taking pot shots at it? Not believing it one bit.
Finally, there’s the “history” that the early sellers try and point out for their customers. This sign is apparently from 1959 based on a mark that says 59. Snoopy didn’t become the Flying Ace until 1965. This image is obviously from “Snoopy and the Red Baron“. Is there a reason they picked 1959? Did Smith-O-Lene go out of business that year or close to it? I wish I knew, but there is NO history of Smith-O-lene online. They made a nice logo. A real Smith-O-Lene sign sells for big bucks. Beyond that, no one seems to care. Poor Smith-O-Lene. If you know more about Smith-O-Lene or fake porcelain signs, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much is a Snoopy Smith-O-Lene Sign worth?
Oddly, as the weeks have gone by, the condition of the signs has gone down while the price has gone up. Are the weird rust marks and water stains making them worth more? Prices started at around $65 and have risen to over $260. Crazy! If you really want one for your collection, be aware that you’re not getting the real deal and you’re supporting the antique equivalent of a puppy mill. Don’t let people do this to Snoopy.
Seriously, I could make you a better sign than this. The Adobe Illustrator image tracing they did really lost the fine details. Plus, the typeface they used for Aviation Brand appears to be Impact, which also didn’t come out until 1965. You know Impact from every meme on the internet. No thanks!